Another exciting weekend of playoff action in Major League Soccer. While some soccer fans rail against the injustice of lower seeded teams advancing, there is little debate that the matches have been exciting. Playoffs are an American sports staple, and upsets are ingrained in the American sports culture. The games have made for great theater and have been an excellent advertisement for the playoffs. A reported number just under 400k watched the Sunday Galaxy/Sounders match on Halloween despite competition from both the World Series and football.
Attendance in the second leg varied from the more than 20k at Red Bull Arena on a cold and chilly night to a really disappointing 10k in Columbus. RSL had a great crowd for their loss and the Los Angeles crowd was reasonably good for a Sunday Night. However attendance for the conference finals is very much in doubt.
ESPN2 has picked up the must win USWNT soccer game scheduled for Monday night against Costa Rica. The surprise loss to Mexico left the team in a must win match on Monday or there will be no World Cup for the squad. Even with a win, the US Women would still need to win a home and home against Italy to advance to the World Cup. Given the struggles of the WPS, if the national team fails to qualify for the World Cup, womens soccer risks falling well off the radar of American sports fans and potential advertisers.